Originally Posted by Hyram Gestan
I agree with this, but I am struck with how well Android phones are selling. They sell in huge numbers.
How can this be explained, given that what you say is true?
Universally license (it's free, anyway), flood the market, whore your OS out to anyone who can slam together a box, offer a ton of of models at all sorts of price points (it amounts to what, hundreds? taking all Android phones into account), and so on. And in countries without carrier subsidies, Android phones are cheaper by far.
Further, Apple doesn't cater to the "I just want a cheap, simple phone" crowd. The Apple experience *must* be the same across the board. And the 3GS is only a single model.
What are the classic barriers in retail for the highest level of User Experience? Price. Availability. And very slim, very focused product lineups. This can be conducive to record sales, but it is not optimal for dominant market share. The iPhone is not an iPod.
It's the classic Microsoftian-OEM business model that supports Android. Great for quick, inflated market share, lousy for the end-to-end experience.
For example, Windows sells in huge numbers as well, thanks to the business model just mentioned. But would you trade in your Mac running OS X for a $500 Dell with some version of Windows on it? Probably not. But don't forget also, that the cost of entry into the Mac end of the Apple ecosystem (not including the Mini) is at least $1000. There are plenty of folks who probably want Macs, but the bottom end of the retail pyramid is much, much wider than the top. Apple doesn't compete, nor wants to compete in certain spaces.
So all of these considerations play into the reasons for the market share that Android smartphones enjoy today.